Keeping Time with Precision Time Protocol (PTP)

Thursday, 14 December 2017

1:00 PM EST / 10:00 AM PST / 18:00 UTC/GMT

Throughout the ages, time has been a critical component to be quantified. From early sundials to water clocks, to mechanical pendulums - each marks the passage of time. The accuracy to which today we can measure time by quartz watches or the atomic clock has become more precise. 

Today, time is a critical part of a broadcast facility to ensure the accuracy at which program material is switched. The Global Position System (GPS) is used to provide accurate timing information across the world, from which timecode can be derived as well as video synchronization. Video synchronization is typically achieved today with analog black burst, or tri-level sync signals carried as a reference signal throughout the facility, locked from a GPS reference to maintain synchronization from facility to facility worldwide. 

With the transition of video network to an IP infrastructure, new methods of providing synchronization are now required. Network Time Protocol (NTP) is used within computer systems for keeping timing within the network, but this does not provide the accuracy needed for video systems. Therefore, IEEE 1588 and SMPTE 2059 standards have been developed to provide a method for synchronization of video within an IP infrastructure. 

In this presentation, we will discuss this new methodology and the requirements to achieve synchronization with the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) across the network. New techniques and different synchronization topologies will be required within a hybrid IP and SDI facility to keep all devices timed. We will examine ways to monitor the health of the PTP system and ways to troubleshoot problems within the network.

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Guest Speaker

Jalyn Kelley

Educated in England, he received a B.Sc. Hons. in Communications Engineering from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Initial Michael worked for consumer electronics manufacturer of consumer television sets in the digital video department working on advanced television receiver design. Before moving to various broadcast equipment manufacturers. At Tektronix as an Application Engineer for the last twenty years within the Product Line, he has provided support on the video measurement products from analog to digital to HD and now IP.